Klamath County says it can no longer pay for mental health care

By Sergio Cisneros, OPB News, June 19, 2013

depression silhouetteKlamath County has notified the Oregon Health Authority it can no longer fund mental health care services in the area. The county is asking the state to provide these services, or to explore other alternatives like setting up nonprofits.

Dennis Linthicum is with the Klamath County Board of Commissioners.

He explained, “Klamath County has decided that, given the economics and the funding model, which is a fee-for-service model, we actually can’t provide the services that were required to under the regulatory constraints of the Oregon revised statutes.”

Earlier this month, the county informed 81 mental health care service employees they could be laid off by June 30.

The Oregon Health Authority issued a statement saying, “All parties involved are committed to ensuring the continuation of these essential behavioral health services.” The state says it will meet with local health care providers to figure out what options are available.